Prisoners can get latest on law thanks to technology

A Dayton-based company is providing the latest legal information to prisoners with technology that makes law books unnecessary. LexisNexis is installing kiosks in prisons that let inmates connect to the company's database. Many lawyers already use the service, which details the latest laws and court cases. Now a handful of jails in Hawaii and California are replacing law books with stainless-steel boxes bolted to the wall. They have 17-inch computer monitors covered with shatterproof glass. Five kiosks cost California nearly 100-thousand-dollars a year, but a spokesman says that's cheaper than buying new books. The books quickly become outdated and are subject to vandalism. Prisoners in Ohio still use traditional law books, although the state is looking at CD ROM technology.